Friday, November 28, 2008

I really don't like Errol LaBorde

On last night's edition of his misnamed show, Errol LaBorde dismissed the controversy over the LSU/VA hospital site as the usual controversy that comes with any large public works project and defied anybody to show him what was worth saving in that neighborhood. For reasons that I couldn't figure out, he worried about the cameras rolling when residents get evicted from their boarded-up and abandoned homes. Since I've yet to hear LaBorde express any concern over the lack of communication between government and local residents, it was no surprise that he missed the most glaring aspect of the controversy: the fact that residents were allowed to rebuild without being informed about plans for the VA hospital:
"I understand the VA is needed for New Orleans," Rogers said. "My biggest issue has just been with the way it's all happened, and the absolute lack of respect the city has shown in dealing with people in this situation. . . . The only things we hear from the mayor are his grandiose announcements in the paper."

City leaders said they did not want to convene a neighborhood meeting until they had definitive word that the VA plans to build in the Tulane-Gravier area. The federal agency announced the neighborhood as its preferred site in August, but it continues to evaluate another location across from Ochsner Medical Center in Jefferson Parish.

"Both the city and the VA want to do this in the most community-sensitive way possible, but we don't want to initiate the process until a final decision is made in Washington," said Ezra Rapport, chief operating officer in the Mayor Ray Nagin's Office of Recovery and Development Administration. "It's not any intention not to communicate, but until we have a definitive word, it seemed premature."

The city did not find it premature, however, to sign a memorandum in November in which it agreed to acquire 34 acres between Galvez and Rocheblave for the VA hospital -- possibly in exchange for the right to redevelop the former veterans hospital on Perdido Street.

Like all Errol LaBorde analysis, the analysis of proposals to renovate Charity Hospital was based on what the people he talked to told him. In this case, it was that the cost of renovating Charity would be prohibitive. As a matter of fact, the two architects that I talked to expressed the same opinion and were baffled by the RMJM Hillier study. However, if I were going to go on TV and masquerade as an informed source, I would mention criticism of the study rather than choosing to ignore to it altogether. I'm assuming that the informed one was familiar with the study that he failed to mention.

In recent comments at NOLA-Dishu and Library Chronicles, I've expressed the opinion that most of the opposition to the site chosen for the new LSU/VA hospital is about eighteen months too late. For reasons involving Carla Dartez, Oschner Hospital, Jeff Miller and Vitty-Cent, I didn't think that was the best time to stand up to the Strother Martin administration. It might have been based on paranoid reasoning, but I was afraid that the city could lose both the VA hospital and the LSU School of Medicine. I hate to see people lose their neighborhood, but if that happened, the neighborhood would be lost to decay anyway. I would have loved to have been convinced that I was wrong, but I didn't see many people other than Karen writing about it.

To be sure, I think that the mayor and Ed Blakely should be tar-and-feathered over the utter lack of respect for the residents of Lower Mid-City and typical disdain for the very idea of open government. Questions should be asked about the possibly suspicious demolitions, and the fact that at least one Nagin insider was part of an investment group that bought the City Hall annex on October 2006 goes beyond being suspicious, but with so many agendas being pushed in Washington and Baton Rouge, the important thing is to get a hospital built. But Jesus Christ Errol, don't go on TV, pretend to have the slightest idea what you're talking about, and dismiss anger over the autocratic process preceding the destruction of an entire neighborhood as the kind of controversy that accompanies any large public works project.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

That doesn't explain 22% more for mechanized service

White was making the case that despite the higher cost, the city's $31 million budget for sanitation services was justified as compared to Jefferson Parish's $18.5 million budget. She said the city's service is better, and that if the council didn't count the expensive French Quarter trash pick-up, the city's sanitation costs would only be about $24 million.

White also said the added expense was due to the use of garbage trucks with mechanical arms. When Head asked her to explain the benefits of that service, White failed to give a direct answer, and the councilwoman's frustration escalated.

O.K., unlike Ray Nagin, Aaron Broussard didn't stonewall his parish council until he got garbage trucks that go ping. That doesn't explain why Richards Disposal offered Jefferson Parish a significantly lower price for semi-automated garbage collection than it receives from New Orleans. There may well be a legitimate reason why Richards decided it had lower costs when oil was $115 a barrel than it did when oil was $60 a barrel, but I haven't heard it. Without an explanation, it's entirely legitimate to wonder whether Richards Disposal knew that Veronica White was an inept administrator, or if it expected a return on its campaign contributions.

I'll have more on this later, but in a pretty good editorial, the Picayune neglects to mention that Nagin and White successfully stonewalled the city council for weeks until it was left with a choice between no garbage collection or approving the contracts.

If you haven't signed it yet, sign the petition. E's almost reached his goal, I don't know if will continue to accept signatures once it's reached.

Finally, I just couldn't resist:
Mayor Nagin campaigned on making city government more accountable and transparent when he first ran for office. But the opposite impulse seems to be driving his administration now, and that's the real threat to recovery.
Times Picayune 11/25/08

To my way of thinking, it's just one more reason why the Nagin administration's secrecy and general lack of openness must be addressed if the recovery is going to go well. Obviously, there are more important issues to be addressed, insurance and flood protection come to mind, but anyone who comments on New Orleans should consider it a priority to call bullshit on Nagin administration claims of "transparency and accountability" or "openness and accessibility."
Moldy City 8/12/07

No, I'm not so delusional as to think that the Picayune's editorial staff is cribbing from my old blog posts, but it's the kind of thing that bloggers find hard to resist.

How many of you really remember Sherman Copelin?

On last Friday's "Informed Sources," I believe Lee Zurik said that his special report tomorrow will involve a conflict between Ann Duplessis and Sherman Copelin. Duplessis' popularity took some heavy criticism over her support of a legislative pay raise, but that says more about her judgment than her integrity. Sherman Copelin has been busy posing as a business leader lately, but I wonder how many readers remember as possibly the most corrupt New Orleans politician of the last forty years.

Unfortunately, it's been so long since Copelin has held office that working links to articles about Sherman Copelin and Reality Treatment Center, or Sherman Copelin and the Family Health Foundation, or Model Cities, or Allan Katz (only mentioned because it's pretty funny), or Charity Hospital (and disproportionate share funding) are difficult to find. So, I'll once again recommend Newsbank to anybody with a valid library card in any La. parish. Just go to Louisiana Library Database Connection, pick your library system, type in your card number, and click "newsbank" under statewide databases. If you search the Picayune for articles on Sherman Copelin, you find hundreds to plow through. So try Sherman Copelin and any of the other subjects listed above; "Sherman Copelin Allan Katz" would be an interesting start.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

An employee gets fired for cause, but his former employer decides to give him a second chance a year later.

He earns his employer's complete confidence in less than a week back on the job, but, unfortunately, that confidence was totally misplaced:
A private investigator hired by SDT Waste & Debris says an employee intentionally sabotaged the company by illegally dumping portable toilet waste into sewage systems in and near New Orleans' City Park, then taking the story to a local media outlet.

Terrell Miceli, the investigator brought on by SDT owner Sidney Torres IV earlier this month, identified Phillip Barbarin as the employee primarily responsible for the dumping.

"My investigation reveals not one person in the company told him to do this, " said Miceli, who has spoken with five managers who were working over the weekend of the VooDoo Music Experience, when the illegal dumping happened on three separate nights.

Miceli said two trucks were responsible for the dumping and that the other driver followed Barbarin's lead.

Miceli said that Barbarin had worked for SDT in 2007 before being fired by the company after being cited for reckless driving on company time.

I considered trying to come up with some witticism about the fact that at least the investigator knew how to do job he was paid to do, or a crude comment along those lines, but that story's so lame that it would be hard to say much for his competence. Or, maybe Miceli's report is completely factual and SDT is just that poorly run. At any rate, it's interesting that, in just three days, the dispute has gone from whether illegal dumping occurred to who was responsible for the illegal dumping.

On a totally unrelated note, I heard a lot of Les Miles/Larry Coker talk this afternoon. You might find this post from last January interesting. In the interest of balance, a more positive take from last Summer.

The First Million

I don't know if the mayor thinks that the people in his propaganda* office are doing such a great job of not answering questions that they all deserve raises, or if he thinks they're underperforming and he needs to hire more people to not answer more questions. However, his proposed 2009 budget calls for a $129,381 increase in "personal services" expenditures for what's referred to as the communications department of the mayor's office. Scroll down to p. 127 of the 2008 adopted budget (pdf), program no. 2115 (communications) allocated $672,700 for "personal services" and $426,000 for "other operating" expenses, for a total allocation of $1,098,700. If you refer to p. 88 of this year's proposed budget (pdf), you'll find that the "personal services" expenditure has jumped to $802,081, bringing total department expenditures to $1,2228,081.

With the city facing a $25M budget shortfall, I would suggest cutting a million from his propaganda office. If the mayor's office failed to tell us about tiered reentry** with a $1,098,700 budget, it could certainly have failed to warn us about tiered reentry with a much smaller budget. Seriously, the mayor's office should be able to not answer all the questions we could ever possibly not want answered for $200,000. That was easy, I won't even charge the city council $15,000 for that advice. However, if they do decide to pay me a consultant's fee, I might decide to start making campaign contributions. Sorry, I can't open any doors in Jefferson Parish.

It's possible that I misread the budget presentation, it's easy to miss things when scrolling through a 400 page pdf file. On WWL last year, Dennis Woltering reported:
New Orleans, with a population 327,000, according to Nagin, has 9 positions in the office of communications. The annual budget just for salaries is $561,917.

The figure that I found was $672,700, but that's as close a match as I've ever seen when the same budget figure has been reported twice. At any rate, the principle is a valid one, the city is spending way too much for communications department that refuses to communicate. Remember, that's the communications department for the mayor's office alone. Other agencies have their own spokesmen.

Clarification: The pages numbers referred to above are the the pages numbers as they appear on the copmuter screen, the corresponding page numbers on the printed form seem to be p. 111 (2008) and p. 84 (2009).

*The case could could be made that it should be referred as a public relations budget, but there's no way it can honestly be referred to as a communications budget.

**I'm trying to avoid typing things about people that I wouldn't want to say to them personally, so I won't call anybody a blithering idiot. But, am I the only person who wonders what city Errol LaBorde lives in. Last night, he said that Gustav was something to be thankful for -- I know, that wasn't his exact statement. After Gustav, it will be more difficult to get people to evacuate for any hurricane that isn't an obvious Katrina-type storm. In fairness to LaBorde, most of the local media has ignored that obvious point. I suspect that most members of the local press would agree with what Tim wrote in this post. For the most part, I'd agree too. But, that's totally irrelevant to any evaluation of the mayor's performance. Since the mayor's handling of the mandatory evacuation and subsequent reentry will cause people to be less likely to heed madatory evacuation orders in the future, it was absurd to call the evacuation a great success. That wasn't the only reason why I once again found myself wondering which of is either crazy or kinda dense (me or LaBorde) last night. All I'll say is that we obviously view things differently.

Well, I wouldn't feel comfortable personally telling the mayor that I think he's a corrupt piece of shit. I'd probably just say, "You know,man, I'm just saying, you can't pass the smell test you proposed for your opponent in the last election," or "What's you got to be so secretive about, if you're not doing anything wrong, man?"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


My last two posts brought my blog's manliness rating down from 74% to 70%. Obviously some pansy-ass liberals who wouldn't know what a real man is put that site up if Joe the Plumber cost me manly points. Fuck that shit, guess I'll have to write out "What the Fuck?" and talk about kicking ass.

Update: Bo Diddley brought it down to 69%, they don't know...squat.

Oh Shit

I've written before about walking and riding around the closed parts of the City Park golf course before, but I don't think I've ever mentioned the flooded areas that I encounter from time to time. I'm not referring to low-lying parts of the park that chronically flood after heavy rains, I frequently (less frequently now than a year or two ago) come across marshy areas when it hasn't rained for days. It never smells funky and I can often see water oozing up from what must be a broken pipe, so I've never worried about it when I've had to walk through, as opposed to around, these artificial swamps. That is, I never worried until I saw this report (video) about the alleged dumping of raw sewerage in City Park. I know, the alleged dumping was down a manhole, not on the golf course, but I'll probably be a lot more squeamish about walking through flooded areas from now on.

I haven't seen any public notice of plans to to begin work on the east and west golf courses anytime soon, but I have noticed that what appears to be surveyor's stakes recently and they do seem to love closing things off to the public in City Park. I understand that ultimately the east and west courses will be closed for construction so that they can re-open for golf, but the area residents that walk, bicycle and take their dogs out there will deserve some notice. I'm probably just being paranoid, but the north course ended up being closed for construction about a week after this article was published. I'd hate to have to go all Joe the Plumber on Bob Becker and plan on getting rich so I can plan on not giving City Park any money.

I had a medical procedure yesterday that left me too groggy to finish the Veronica White, Sanitation Department, Ray Nagin/Jimmie Woods linkorama, hope to put it up Friday. Of course, I can't resist saying I told you so:
Veronica White has shown herself to be one of the biggest shit maker-uppers in an administration full of shit maker-uppers. Throw in the fact that Lupin was far from alone in his assertion that White lied and I think that there's only one reasonable conclusion.

Didn't realize how often I had posted about the sanitation department. For anyone who wants to expose the corruption of the Nagin administration, the technology office isn't the only weak link.

Call it a stupid question if you want

Following up on my last post, I'm aware that the Democrats have given up on a single payer system, but my point was that liberals aren't answering conservatives. It's time to ask whether employer-funded health care is compatible with free trade. My suspicion is that employers want to be rid of it and that conservatives think that we can still end up with something similar to the McCain plan.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

You've won the election, now roll over and play dead

I have mixed feelings about an auto industry bailout, and I'll even go so far as to say that anybody who looks at that matter as a real problem, rather than occasion for ideological debate about the virtues of the free market, probably does as well. So, the last thing I'd suggest is that liberals should come out in favor of a bailout (I'm leaning that way, if anybody cares).

However, if you want proof that modern conservatives have internalized the crisis/opportunity crap that became trendy a few years ago, look no further than David the Likable. Hollywood Liberal gets it:
A howl is arising among conservatives, and David Brooks throws back his head this morning — the Big three auto makers must be allowed to die.

Not so long ago, corporate giants with names like PanAm, ITT and Montgomery Ward roamed the earth. They faded and were replaced by new companies with names like Microsoft, Southwest Airlines and Target. The U.S. became famous for this pattern of decay and new growth.

PanAm, union airline. Southwest, non-union. We get it.

It’s amazing that even now Brooks cannot name the pig he is tasked with lipsticking, he must speak in conservative code. He never says the UAW needs to be broken, instead we’re treated to “politically powerful crony capitalists who use their influence to create a stagnant corporate welfare state.”
But I haven't been able to find much liberal comment. I'll also note that I can't imagine Brooks shedding any tears if a GM bankruptcy adds to the PBGC's growing problems.

In a recent comment at Library Chronicles, I mentioned a nationally syndicated article that demonstrated the liberal media's conservative economic bias (e.g. note the reliance on industry sources):
When times were good, the automakers did not take on the UAW, which the companies say drove up their labour costs to $30 per hour more than Japanese companies paid their workers.

The figure includes pension and health-care costs for hundreds of thousands of retirees.

Conservatives have long pointed out that GM spends more on health care than on steel. Liberals used to respond that that was the point.

Update: I left out the obvious fact that Michigan elects Democrats, but, after reading Jonathan Cohn, I have to wonder if Richard Shelby (R-Al.) has thought his opposition all the way through. From Cohn's article:
One reason for the casual support for letting GM fail is the assumption that bankruptcy would be no big deal: As USA Today editorialized recently, "Bankruptcy need not mean that the company disappears." But, while it's worked out that way for the airlines, among others, it's unlikely a GM business failure would play out in the same fashion. In order to seek so-called Chapter 11 status, a distressed company must find some way to operate while the bankruptcy court keeps creditors at bay. But GM can't build cars without parts, and it can't get parts without credit. Chapter 11 companies typically get that sort of credit from something called Debtor-in-Possession (DIP) loans. But the same Wall Street meltdown that has dragged down the economy and GM sales has also dried up the DIP money GM would need to operate.

That's why many analysts and scholars believe GM would likely end up in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which would entail total liquidation. The company would close its doors, immediately throwing more than 100,000 people out of work. And, according to experts, the damage would spread quickly. Automobile parts suppliers in the United States rely disproportionately on GM's business to stay afloat. If GM shut down, many if not all of the suppliers would soon follow. Without parts, Chrysler, Ford, and eventually foreign-owned factories in the United States would have to cease operations. From Toledo to Tuscaloosa, the nation's?assembly lines could go silent, sending a chill through their local economies as the idled workers stopped spending money.

One other matter to consider:
A GM collapse alone would cost the government as much as $200 billion for costs associated with unemployment insurance and other programs after millions of auto-related job losses, according to a forecast from IHS Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Of course, if a collapse is inevitable, that money would ultimately have to be spent on top of whatever's spent on a bailout.

Friday, November 14, 2008

As a matter of fact, Veronica White is a liar.

When I read that the mayor's email threatened legal action against Stacy Head for stating the obvious fact that Veronica White wasn't telling the truth, I thought of a scene from Spartacus. If the mayor's threatening legal action against anyone who calls Ms. White a liar, I'm calling Veronica White a liar. Before I ask anybody else to join a chorus, I'll have to lay out the case that any reasonable person would conclude that White is an untrustworthy public official. I'll try to get that done by the end of the weekend. Looking at the links to some old posts, it should be a piece of cake. As I've said before, the last thing either the mayor or his sanitation director wants is a public examination of her integrity.

In the meantime, I'll direct your attention to Star's comment on a recent post:
Veronica White has a huge attitude. I worked on her work computer and found that most of the day was used to surf the internet, and pull up websites about Whitney Houston. She has repeatedly lied about the monthly reports and now trying to cover her tracks. Lets see if she gets a slap on the hand.

I normally don't like to draw attention to anonymous comments unless they contain information that can be verified, but that goes so well with Big Red Cotton's piece about Veronica White that I couldn't resist.

I'll also remind you that the consultant that the city council hired for advice on ways to cut city spending is involved in a partnership with Metro Disposal. I don't like it one bit. It also underscores the difficulty in tracking the campaign contributions of the city's sanitation contractors. Schroeder does a great job, but SDT, Metro and Richards (and their owners) have numerous business partners and subcontractors who also make campaign contributions.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

There's an obvious rhetorical question...

For Jarvis DeBerry (about somebody who I once called a liar), but I don't want to be the first to go there. E has a link that I couldn't find yesterday. He also has an explanation of why Veronica White is an obvious liar, for those who are too stupid to understand why or too cowardly to say so.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Saints Defense

Q: What in the world is wrong with the Saints' defense? I know there have been some injury issues, but New Orleans can't stop anyone. What's the problem?


A: My biggest issue with the Saints this season is they haven't pressured quarterbacks enough and the corners can't stay on coverage long enough to stop passing attacks. That baffles me, too. Charles Grant and Will Smith are two of the highest-paid defensive ends in football. Grant is out for the season, but Smith has developed into a pass-rusher who uses the bull rush more than the outside rush. The Saints love to use man-to-man coverage, but the corners are giving up 12.8 yards a completion. That's a lot. They have only 14 sacks and no one with more than three. The loss of CB Mike McKenzie for the season will make things worse. The Saints obviously made a bad signing last year with Jason David, and now he will have to play more because of McKenzie's injury. Injuries have played a big factor, but the Saints' defense clearly has underachieved.
John Clayton

I seem to remembering somebody saying something about Gibbs becoming a scapegoat.

Stacy Head/Veronica White

I can't find a link to the WWL report about the Stacy Head/Veronica White blow-up, but I'll remind everybody that there were weeks, probably months*, of stonewalling and secrecy about the sanitation contracts in 2006 before the city council was basically left with no choice but to approve them. To my way of thinking, secrecy about public money is a sign of dishonesty -- not proof, but a very strong sign. That's all I'll have time for until at least tomorrow night.

*If you go back and look at the mayor's 100 day speech (in 2006), it appears that the mayor had begun work on the sanitation contracts as early as May, but kept it quiet until October. I should make it clear that I’m referring to the goals that the mayor set out (to accomplish in the first 100 days of the second term) in May 2006, not to the September presentation about what he had accomplished. In the May presentation, he made a vague reference to dividing garbage collection into three zones. Did he just decide that he liked the number 3, or did he already have three contractors in mind?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nobody remembered WIN buttons in 1980

You didn't have to be Alan Greenspan to see how stupid WIN buttons were,I rolled my eyes as a twelve-year-old. Stagflation led to Carter's election in 1976, but, by 1980, everybody had forgotten that we had inflation under two Republican presidents. So why do we have so much speculation about 2012 that doesn't even question whether Americans will remember the $4+ gasoline prices of last Summer or the $2.40 gasoline prices of this Fall? You might say it won't matter, but any political forecasting that doesn't include economic forecasting lacks a key element. Get real people, it might provoke a mid-life crisis if I have to start acting like the wise elder (or cranky old man).

Of course, no discussion of the economy would be complete without mentioning the opportunism that has no sense of decency.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Just a hunch

I don't know if it's quite as a bad a case of calling timeout to tell the team to run out the clock as Frank Donze seems to think it is, but:
the council voted to spend $15,000 to hire a consulting firm, Strategic Planning Associates, to help it review the budget and "provide advice on revenue and expenditure alternatives."

Something tells me that the consultant won't recommend renegotiating the city sanitation contracts as a way of cutting expenditures:
Louisiana Secretary of State
Detailed Record

Charter/Organization ID: 36398233J


Type Entity: Partnership

Status: Active

2008 Annual Report is required at this time
Mailing Address: 9641 OLD GENTILLY ROAD, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70127

Domicile Address: 9641 OLD GENTILLY ROAD, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70127

Registered: 03/05/2007




I doubt that meets the legal definition of conflict of interest, but it's a conflict to my way of thinking. I know that New Orleans is a small city with a small business community, but sometimes it seems pretty incestuous.

I wouldn't use the word "incestuous," but there was an interesting coincidence in the N.O. Politics column in today's Picayune. I want to emphasize that I'm merely pointing out something that's almost certainly a coincidence, but it's a coincidence that I found interesting. The main item in the article deals with the large number of Jefferson Parish officials who have lindecided to support J.P. Morrell's state senate bid. The third part tells us that Jefferson Parish political consultant Charlotte Burnell has received a $15,000 contract to work with Cynthia Hedge-Morrell on the New Orleans city budget; the article doesn't say who recommended Burnell for the contract. I wouldn't be so foolish as to suggest that almost the entire Jefferson Parish political establishment could be bought off with a $15,000 contract, but if you follow the last four links*, you'll find that Burnell would have the connections to introduce J.P. to most of the people who decided to support him -- if she had the time. She seems to be the city's busiest consultant since Ed Blakely. As much as I'd like to come up with a conspiracy theory involving New Orleans and Jefferson Parish Politicians, J.P. Morrell is more likely to have received the endorsements because of his time in the state legislature. Danny Martiny and Charlotte Burnell work together on the Glenn Ansardi campaign committee, but Martiny and Morrell also worked together in the state legislature. Still, I had to note the coincidence.

I may have misjudged Donze's tone. At any rate, the idea of paying a consultant to help the city save money does seem a little absurd, but $15,000 for advice on the city budget is nothing compared to some of the other consulting fees that the city pays. That's one of the better arguments for taking zoning and land use decisions out the city council's hands -- theoretically, council members would have time to make some of their own decisions, without needing to pay consultants to tell them what to think.

*For example:
A winning argument

To help Redflex in Jefferson, Wagner contacted his friend and business associate, Julie Murphy, a longtime political consultant married to state District Judge Robert Murphy. Murphy said she met with council members Young, Tom Capella, Jennifer Sneed and Byron Lee. The meetings were held in the members' individual offices under official circumstances, she said.

"I'm just a citizen of Jefferson Parish who is treated like any other citizen," Murphy said. "The Jefferson Parish Council is very accessible."

None of the council members promised her an approving vote for Redflex.

"I would have loved it if they had," she said with a laugh.

Murphy also brought in Charlotte Burnell, a consultant with the local firm Strategic Planning Associates and Kenner's chief administrative officer during the 1990s, when Parish Councilman Louis Congemi was on the City Council and later was the mayor. Burnell said she played only a minimal role in presenting the more technical aspects of Redflex's system to Jefferson Parish officials.

Notwithstanding the involvement of Murphy, Wagner and Burnell, the key to Redflex winning the Jefferson contract was a conversation Young had with Chief Deputy Newell Normand of the Sheriff's Office, Young said.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tweedledee and Tweedledum?

The two parties are flip sides of the same coin? Bullshit:
WASHINGTON (October 31, 2008) – Thousands of factory farms will be exempt from needing permits that limit water pollution thanks to a new Bush Administration rule signed today. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency did not adopt improved controls for bacteria and other pathogens that can pose risks to human health and wildlife.

Factory farms, also known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), confine animals on an industrial scale and produce massive amounts of manure and other waste that can pollute waterways with dangerous contaminants. EPA estimates that these facilities generate three times more waste than people do nationwide. Moreover, factory farms lack waste treatment facilities comparable to those that treat human sewage.

The new rule:

Creates a loophole allowing facility operators to avoid permits by claiming they won’t have a discharge.

Adopts a scheme that allows facilities to avoid certain environmental enforcement. For instance, if an operator certifies that the facility won’t have a discharge, environmental authorities will ignore enforcement action, even if the facility discharges to the nation’s waters.

Rejects improvements in technology that would reduce harmful bacteria and other pathogens contained in animal waste, missing an opportunity to prevent water pollution and threats to public health.

“Literally and figuratively, this rule puts the Bush Administration’s stamp of approval on a load of manure,” said Jon Devine, Senior Attorney in the Water Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “Even though Congress specifically targeted factory farms for regulation under the Clean Water Act in 1972 and EPA has recognized the importance of these operations getting pollution control permits, the Administration stepped in it today.”

It's also horseshit, pig shit, and chickenshit.

Aren't we superior?

St. Bernard Parish doesn't put up with their crap. They don't even try that crap in Jefferson Parish. But Orleans Parish officials praise the home grown crap peddlers. I thought that one of the pleasures of living in the city was that it allows you to act smugly superior to your suburban neighbors. Well, we still have Mandeville

Since I'm writing about expensive crap, I'll once again remind you that Robin Pittman is married to a member of the clique that acts as if it's legitimate to spend way too much on city contracts if the profit goes to the right people. Don't know enough about Yolanda King to make an endorsement, but I know how I voted.

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Old Favorites
  • Political Boxing (untitled)
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